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Franklin Fine Arts Center

Award Winning - Mayor Daley’s 2009 Annual Landscape Awards
First Place – Region 3 Schools
City-Wide Winner: 2009 Gardener of the Year

MODE designed and oversaw the installation of this unique public garden for the Franklin Fine Arts Center in Chicago over a two year period starting in the Fall of 2006.  Using the previously installed Chinese moon gate for inspiration, MODE created a series of functional, Asian-style garden spaces for the entire school community to use. 

Installation Days
Working with teachers, parents and students, MODE installed many of the plants during a series of work days in 2007/08 and today continues to lead the on-going renovation and maintenance efforts of the garden committee.


Art in the Garden


In Use
Regularly used by the art, music, reading, writing and science teachers, the FFAC garden draws the students outside and connects them to nature.  Throughout the spring and fall, teachers, students and parents use the two garden classrooms for projects, activities and meetings.  



St. Thomas the Apostle School

Award WinningMayor Daley’s 2009 Annual Landscape Awards
Third Place – Region 4 Schools

In the Spring of 2008, MODE designed a new reading garden for the Catholic elementary school located in Hyde Park. The design invoked the beautiful architecture of the historic building using an interwoven diamond pattern for both the walkway and classroom patio. The hardscape was installed during the Summer of 2008 and a garden committee was established to plant and expand the garden over the next few years as funds permit.

Community Reading Garden


Dedication Ceremony


Newberry Math & Science Academy
Although lovingly cared for by parents and teachers, Newberry Academy’s garden in Chicago lacked any cohesive design and useable gathering space.  In 2005, MODE designed a garden that created three distinct areas – an entryway garden, a classroom and a memorial garden.  Over several work days, the garden was cleaned up, new bedlines cut and plants added.  The classroom patio was installed at a later date and the memorial garden expanded.